2017 HCC programs explore diversity and community

In a time of deep division in our nation, Heights Community Congress (HCC) continues to look for ways to come together as a community. By understanding and celebrate differences, HCC strives to strengthen community bonds. For 40 years, HCC has been an advocate for social justice, a monitor of fair housing practices, and a facilitator for building a strong, diverse community. The theme of this year’s HCC programming is “Hands Across the Heights: Bridging the Gaps and Moving Beyond.”

Below is a preview of programs planned for the first half of 2017. Details, along with registration information, is available at www.heightscongress.org, or by calling 216-321-6775.

Friday, Feb. 10: “Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963” (Lee Road Library). To celebrate African American History Month, we’ll read and discuss Christopher Paul Curtis’ 1995 novel Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963. The historical novel provides an opportunity to look at race, family, friendship and hope—issues that are as resonant today as they were in 1963.

Sunday, Feb. 26: “This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement” (Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage). HCC will sponsor a trip to the Maltz Museum for a guided tour of this groundbreaking exhibit. “This Light of Ours” exposes the struggle against race-based disenfranchisement through the works of nine photographers who were part of the Southern Freedom Movement.

Friday, March 10: “Inspired by Art” (Lee Road Library). A variety of presenters will explore the many ways art brings people together. Pecha Kucha (Japanese for “chatter”) applies a simple set of rules to presentations: Display 20 slides for 20 seconds each. Say what you need to say in 6 minutes and 40 seconds of words and images—that’s it.

March 29 to April 9: “41st Annual Cleveland International Film Festival” at Tower City Cinemas. For more than four decades, CIFF has presented films from around the world. Watch for this year’s film sponsored by HCC.

Friday, April 28: “Fair Housing in 2017” (Lee Road Library). In April, HCC celebrates the anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act and recommits to its goal: eliminate housing discrimination and create equal opportunity in every community. This interactive program will examine the state of fair housing and housing discrimination.

Thursday, May 18: “The Negro Motorist Green-Book and Our Search for Community” (Lee Road Library). In 1937, Victor Green published a travel guide for African Americans taking road trips. The Negro Motorist Green-Book quickly became an indispensable guide for newly mobile African Americans, helping them navigate unfamiliar and often unsafe geography as they traveled for business and pleasure.  This program will use the Green-Book as a jumping-off point to explore how we all find our way through unfamiliar and dangerous areas, and how we look for common ground.

Pam Wetherill

Pam Wetherill is a volunteer with the Heights Community Congress. She serves on the Fair Housing Committee and is a resident of University Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 1:32 PM, 01.31.2017